The Greatest Basketball Player You’ve Never Heard of

Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman was never seen as a basketball superstar.

Gifted as a supporting player who could give the team points while the better players rested, Junior’s work ethic was what made him a valuable teammate for his entire 12-year career.

And although he would never be considered the greatest player to ever don a Milwaukee Bucks’ uniform – designations which reasonably belong to Oscar Roberts and Kareem Abdul Jabbar – when it comes to success off the court, Junior is one of the greatest there ever was.

This is his story.

During Junior’s playing days – in the 1970s and ’80s – NBA salaries were much different than they are today. At the peak of his career Junior’s salary was no more than $350,000.

At the time there was little in the way of support for athletes and their finance. So to prepare for life after basketball, Junior set out to learn about opportunities to invest.

During the off-seasons, he began working at a Wendy’s drive-through. His goal was to learn more about the fast-food business and by the time he was finished playing basketball he translated that knowledge into ownership of 3 Wendy’s franchises.

Over the proceeding 20 years, Junior elevated his fast-food success by continuing to invest, at one point owning more than 160 Wendy’s and 120 Chili’s locations across the United States.

But Junior still wasn’t done.

In 2016 Junior agreed to sell his franchise locations. In return, Junior received an exclusive bottling and distribution deal with Coca-Cola with operations in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Nebraska.

Today, Junior’s net worth is estimated to be more than $600 Million.   

Time and time again we hear stories about athletes squandering their wealth through mismanagement and poor financial education. In stark contrast to those, this story is a great reminder that dedication, commitment, and discipline are the ultimate building blocks to achieving a meaningful life. 

With a committed approach and disciplined investing strategies, not only is living a lifestyle that is meaningful for you attainable, it is inevitable.

This article was written and provided by Evan Bernard. Evan’s advisor profile can be found here:

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